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Rangers Vs. Jets: Baby Rangers Beat The Real Jets

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NHL: New York Rangers at Winnipeg Jets Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
  • All things consisted, that's both a hell of an effort and a hell of a win. The Rangers were down three very notable forwards (Rick Nash, Pavel Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad), a solid contributor (Jimmy Vesey) and Matt Pumpel; a series of circumstances that required call ups to Nicklas Jensen and Marrk Hrivik while also giving Oscar Lindberg an every-night role for the time being.
  • So for the Rangers to find a way to win the game -- their first win where they scored less than three goals -- while also winning the possession battle is a great sign. Despite Winnipeg not being the best team in the world, it's still got to be a confidence booster.
  • It’s worth mentioning the Jets hit a slew of posts that could have swung the game in a totally different direction had any of those gone in.
  • But positives! The Rangers’ best players got the job done when they needed them to stand tall. With the game tied at one and the seconds ticking off the clock it became apparent the Rangers being down four of their better offensive threats might be an issue. That was until Kevin Hayes came swooping down to save the day on a last-minute power play goal where he slammed the puck home in the crease. Hayes, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller (who is still so snakebitten) and Mats Zuccarello were the Rangers best players and they needed to be.
  • It's amazing how much of a difference Michael Grabner makes. Mourning the loss of his grandmother back home, Grabner's absence against the Islanders was immediately noticed. He returned Thursday night and his speed just changes the game for the Rangers. He -- like Miller right before him -- both missed wide open nets because the puck rolled off their sticks. The game honestly could have been 6-0 Rangers after the first and no one would have batted an eye.
  • Both Rangers goals came on the power play, too, which is nice. It would be wonderful if that could get going again on a more consistent basis. Although Nick Holden found his way to the point again.
  • Ryan McDonagh looked all out of sorts on the point last night. There were a few glorious shooting opportunities he passed up, passes he flubbed and a few times he lost the puck in his own skates. Alain Vigneault "thought long and hard" about getting Adam Clendening into the lineup and apparently deemed it wasn't necessary. I'd love to be able to hear that back and forth in his head.
  • Speaking of flubbed pucks: On four odd-man rushes in a row during the first period the Rangers lost control of the puck. I've never seen that happen twice in a row let alone four times. Who knew the ice in Winnipeg was so bad?
  • Brandon Pirri is (I assume) a dedicated listener to the podcast, because I called out his unwillingness to shoot the puck on Wednesday. Thursday rolls around and suddenly Pirri is shooting everything. I got you fam.
  • Antti Raanta played a pretty solid game. He made some enormous saves when needed and helped settle things down in the third when the Rangers were very confused about how to generate offense without some of their best players. Noted that he got saved by the post a lot, but sometimes that happens.
  • Rangers have a much, much, much, much tougher test tonight against Chicago. Thoughts?